Pâte-sur-pâte is a French term meaning "paste-on-paste." Developed in 1850, this artistic technique produces an image in relief, with the application of multiple layers of white slip (white clay in liquid form). The slip is applied to an unfired, unglazed base, allowing the image to emerge from the solid colored background. Usually found in antique pottery and ceramics (such as vases and dishes), pâte-sur-pâte was sometimes used in jewelry, although more uncommonly so.
A gorgeous Etruscan pâte-sur–pâte pendant from the Victorian (ca1880s) era! This wonderful piece, which is crafted in 14kt yellow gold, is substantial in size and exceptionally detailed. At the center is a fine pâte-sur-pâte plaque depicting Diana, or her Greek counterpart Artemis, who according to Roman mythology, was the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, the moon, fertility, childbirth and children. The beautiful black and white image is held in a slightly elevated fashion, surrounded by a flat gold frame which is bordered by graduating beadwork. The plaque, which resembles a cameo in appearance, has fantastic detail, depicting the goddess reaching for an arrow from her quiver while holding her bow, the wind sweeping her dress as she steps forward. The oval pâte-sur-pâte image is set within a shield-shaped gold setting which is adorned with fine twisted wire and beadwork throughout and hangs from a complimentary fluted bail, perfect for hanging from a favorite chain. The back of the pendant has a smoothly polished surface and reveals the open back of the pâte-sur-pâte plaque; this opening may have originally had a glass face and acted as a locket. This stunning piece would be a wonderful addition to any collection, particularly for the mythology lover.
Measurement: The pendant hangs approximately 2 5/8" long and is 1 1/2" wide and 3/8" thick.